Why and How To Drain your Homes Plumbing System

Why and How To Drain your Homes Plumbing System

Two of the most common reasons to drain your home’s plumbing system are for a major home repair or when preparing a home for a seasonal shutdown. Draining a plumbing system can also address problems with water hammers (air moving about in the pipes causes them to hit each other or framing). Whatever your reason, draining your home’s plumbing system is fairly easy.

  1. Shut off the main water valve. This is normally located near the water meter.
  2. Starting at the highest level/floor in the home, open all the sink faucets. Water will drain and will allow air into the system, which will help the flow of water further down in the system below.
  3. At the lowest level, normally your basement, open the faucet in your lowest sink and let all the water from the upper floors drain out.
  4. Now take a walk back upstairs to the highest level and open all the tub and shower faucets.
  5. Flush all the toilets in the house leaving the tanks empty.
  6. If you are draining your plumbing system for a seasonal shutdown then leave all the faucets open and consider covering drains and toilet bowls with plastic wrap or cloth to prevent
    sewer gas from escaping.
  7. If you are draining your plumbing system for a repair feel free to close all the faucets and showers following the instructions below.

When you are ready to turn the water back on there are some steps you need to take, in order, to get the best results.

  1. Go to the lowest level of the house and close the lowest faucet.
  2. Starting at the highest level in the house close all the faucets. Closing the lowest and then the highest faucets allow air to remain in the system, which is what you want, in order to recharge the air chambers.
  3. Open the main water valve to let water back in the pipes.
  4. Now, starting at the highest level of the home, open the faucets one by one and let the water sputter out. The water is sputtering because air is forcing itself out as well. Keep the faucets open until only clear water comes out.
  5. Next, open shower faucets starting from the highest level.
  6. Next, flush toilets to refill the tanks.
  7. Once the water is no longer discolored at any of the faucets (this happens sometimes and is normal), start turning off faucets starting at the highest level.
  8. You may find that for the next couple of days your faucets sputter here and there, but this is normal and won’t last for that long.

Draining your home’s plumbing system main involve a lot of stair climbing, but for the most part it is an easy process if you follow these steps. If you have any questions about this process, or any other plumbing related issues, please feel free to call Whitten Plumbing. We are at your service!